Some old video footage from a July 7, 2016 House Oversight Committee recently resurfaced regarding Clinton’s email server. You can find the full transcript here.
Of particular interest were three separate exchanges.
The first exchange between Chairman Jason Chaffetz and State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, a second between Representative Gowdy and Linick, and finally, a third between Representative Grothman and Linick.
As you watch the videos and read the transcripts, recall that the Inspector General Empowerment Act – something current DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz fought long and hard to obtain – had not yet been passed into law.
Had the Inspector General Empowerment Act been law at this point, State Department IG Linick might have been able to produce a very different outcome with ex-Secretary of State Clinton.
Here is the video exchange between Representative Chaffetz and IG Linick (transcript follows):
CHAFFETZ: Hillary Clinton had this convenient email arrangement with herself. Have you ever seen anything like that? Were there people that expressed concerns about that? And what happened when these people expressed concerns?
LINICK: Well, as we reported in our evaluation report, we did interview a couple of individuals who were in the Office of the Secretary, the computer division, SES/IRM, who said that they approached the then-director of that particular office and expressed concerns both about the server and about whether or not her emails were being properly preserved under the Federal Records Act. And that individual, the director of SES/IRM, informed those individuals that it had been approved by Legal and not to mention it again.
CHAFFETZ: What does that mean, ‘‘not mention it again’’? How did you read that?
LINICK: You know, I can only report – I can only report what the witnesses told us. We were not able to interview the individual Chairman.
CHAFFETZ: Why not? Why didn’t you interview him?
LINICK: Well, we asked to interview him, but he declined to interview with us. So we were not able to get the benefit of his perspective on it. So I’m really unable to interpret what that means, other than just present the facts.
CHAFFETZ : And were you able to interview Hillary Clinton?
LINICK: We were not.
CHAFFETZ: Why not?
LINICK: Well, we asked to interview Secretary Clinton. We interviewed all of the Secretaries. We looked at five Secretaries of State, going back to Madeleine Albright. And, through counsel, she declined to meet with us.
CHAFFETZ: Did she indicate a reason why she would refuse to meet with the inspector general?
LINICK: Her counsel informed our staff that she had – that all of the information about the email was on the FAQ sheet published by her campaign.
CHAFFETZ: So they directed you to the campaign?
LINICK: To the FAQ sheet.
CHAFFETZ: At the campaign?
LINICK: On the Web site, yes.
Now we move on to a short line of questioning from Representative Trey Gowdy. First the video:
GOWDY: I want you to assume an absurd hypothetical, that the Secretary of State has exclusive use of personal email and that she is corresponding with someone who also uses personal email. Are you with me?
LINICK: I’m with you.
GOWDY: How in the world is the State Department ever going to capture that email?
LINICK: It would be – and this is something we addressed in our FOIA report. It would be – it would be difficult because…
GOWDY: It’d be a challenge, wouldn’t it?
LINICK: It would, because only records under the agency’s control are subject to FOIA. So, in other words, the Department wouldn’t be able to reach in, necessarily, to a private account. So it…
GOWDY: Well, you wouldn’t even know about it, would you? If it’s personal-to-personal, how would you know about it?
LINICK: You wouldn’t know about it.
And finally from Representative Glenn Grothman:
GROTHMAN: So when the FBI testifies, as they did, like, an hour ago, that they found work-related emails that had been erased, there was something clearly wrong there, because those emails should’ve been available in case somebody was making a freedom-of-information request.
LINICK: They should have been surrendered to the Department when she left.
GROTHMAN: Surrendered, and they should have been available.
Lock her up.